Tuesday

I Want a Computer That is as Simple as My Toaster

Hi, Lacey here. As you know, I have paws and find it very difficult to type so I have partnered with Bill to tell my stories. Unfortunately, I didn't check his qualifications before agreeing to work with him. I don't want to sound critical, but this guy is a little backwards when it comes to technology. In fact, it's a wonder that he has figured out which end of the pencil writes and which one unwrites. He says he wants a computer as simple as his toaster, but what he really needs is a computer as simple as he is, I think it's called an abacus. I'll let him explain. Here's Bill...

Very funny, Lacey. As you know, I usually write about animals and nature and I promise that the next thing I write will be about the great outdoors or a family pet. This time, however, I am writing about a problem that I share with many others. I'm talking about all this technology that is supposedly making our lives better. I'm a writer, a storyteller to be more precise, and I am trying to build a website and promote it to sell my latest 'gem,' a book about greyhounds and other animals. It's taking longer to build the site and get it right than it took to write and edit the book.

It's just too much. I saw a post in a blog that I decided I'd like to share it with my friends. So I clicked on the button that said I could retweet it, but then I was asked if I had an account with that particular service. It turns out that it wasn't Twitter. It was another app. that works with Twitter. I thought I had pretty much reached the pinnacle of technology when I opened a Twitter account, but apparently, I am still a piker. There are now more ways to share an article or item with your online friends, most of whom you've never met and wouldn't recognize if they were sitting in your living room, than you can shake a memory stick at.

It's too much. I just want to write my little stories, one letter and one word at a time. I sit in front of my computer and I am confronted with buttons of every shape and description asking me if I want to do all kinds of things. Remember when PCs first came out? They were going to simplify our lives. The first computers would fill a big room and were nothing more than number crunchers. They were giant calculators that wouldn't fit in the biggest nerd's pocket, even without the protector, but technologists fixed all that, didn't they? We now have powerful computers right on our desks or even held in our hands.

There are computer chips in just about anything you can think of. At the turn of the latest century I was horrified when people told me there was a computer chip in my toaster and it wouldn't work after Y2K. Do you remember that? Supposedly, the world was going to come to a screeching halt because there was a computer chip in my toaster.

We used to say that the President had his finger on the button, meaning he could push a single button and launch enough nuclear missiles to obliterate the entire world. Imagine that, one button to destroy the world, but six to read my email? After Y2K the only thing that would be possible was the complete annihilation of the world because that button would still work, or would it? Maybe they had also installed a computer chip in the nuclear weapons button so the President couldn't even destroy the world. We would all wake up one morning and have to settle for no toast and no nuclear war.

My toaster is one piece of equipment I have managed to master despite the fact that it has more than one button. I have it perfectly adjusted to produce toast that is at the peak of golden brownness, as long as I always buy exactly the same brand and kind of whole wheat bread, that is. I just slip two slices into the slots, that never change, and push the button down and within a few minutes I have toast. No apps and no upgrades. I don't worry about toast 2.0. Why can't more things be like a toaster?

Why is everything getting more complicated? I thought these things were labor saving devices? I recently spent three hours installing an app, and trying to figure out why it wouldn't work right only to discover that I had left the www off one of the urls I had to put in, so the stupid thing didn't recognize it and wouldn't work. Does that sound like a smart app. to you? Is this the kind of thing we can rely on to make life better?

Personally, I think it is part of a giant conspiracy to keep us all busy so we won't realize what a mess the whole world is in. How did it get this way? Why haven't all these technological advances saved us from the anxiety of an economy that is in the tank and a crumbling infrastructure? I think the same geniuses who make toasters should run the world. They got it right and quit. They aren't trying to tweak toasters. Can you name anything else that isn't being upgraded? I went through a divorce seven years ago. On the divorce forms my wife filled out she wrote that her reason for filing was that she was upgrading to husband 2.0! It's just too much.

1 comment:

  1. Well, you know what they say! Technology is great when it works, and a pain in the rear when it doesn't.

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